The body is about 60% water,
give or take. We’re constantly losing water from our
bodies, primarily via urine and sweat. There are many
different opinions on how much water we should be drinking
every day. Most health authorities commonly recommend
eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 liters, or half
a gallon. This is called the 8×8 rule and is very easy
to remember. However, there are other health gurus who
think we’re always on the brink of dehydration and that we
need to sip on water constantly throughout the day…even
when we’re not thirsty.
More Water Increase Energy Levels and Improve Brain
Many people claim that if we
don’t stay hydrated throughout the day, our energy levels
and brain function can start to suffer. There
are actually plenty of studies to support this.
In one study in women, a
fluid loss of 1.36% after exercise did impair both mood and
concentration, while increasing the frequency of headaches.
There are other studies
showing that mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) caused
by exercise or heat can negatively affect many other aspects
of brain function.
However, keep in mind that
just 1% of body weight is actually a fairly significant
amount. This happens primarily when you’re sweating a lot,
such as during exercise or high heat.
Mild dehydration can
also negatively affect physical performance, leading to
Dehydration is one of
the most common preventable medical conditions in the world.
Yet for something so common, most of us are unaware of its
dangers. Here are a few things you might not know about
1. 75 Percent of Americans Are Chronically
of 3,003 Americansfound that 75 percent
likely had a net fluid loss, resulting in chronic
dehydration. Although the survey found that Americans drank
about eight servings of hydrating beverages per day, this is
offset by drinking caffeinated beverages and alcohol and
eating a diet high in sodium.
Causes Fatigue.A pair
of recent studies found that young people who
were mildly dehydrated were much more likely to feel
fatigued during moderate exercise and
even when sedentary. Unsurprisingly, fatigue is a common
dehydration symptom, and it’s said to be the No. 1 cause of
3. Thirst Means You’re Dehydrated.Dehydration triggers the body’s thirst response.
So when you feel thirsty, dehydration is already setting in.
In many experiments, just 1 to 2 percent dehydration has
been shown to trigger thirst . This level of dehydration can
happen quickly, especially following intense exercise or
when battling viruses.
4. Dehydration Causes Foggy Memory, Irritability,
even mild dehydration, has been shown to put stress on our
cognitive functioning. In younger adults, for instance,
dehydration was linked to a dip in concentration and
short-term memory, as well as an increase in feelings of
anxiety and irritability. With children, studies are more
conclusive that hydration can improve attention and memory.
5. Hydration Can Boost Your Metabolism.Although the evidence is limited, your metabolism
could benefit from drinking cold water. In fact, one study
found that drinking cold water helped boost healthy men and
women’s metabolic rate by 30 percent. The
researchers concluded that the body expended more energy
heating the cold water, which resulted in the boost in
What is over-hydration?
of the major systems of your body depend on water to work
properly. Drinking adequate amounts of water helps your
flush out waste products
perform all major bodily
people, especially those who exercise in hot weather, are
more concerned about not drinking enough water. However,
drinking too much water can also be dangerous.
can lead to water intoxication. This occurs when the amount
of salt and other electrolytes in your body become too
a condition in which sodium (salt) levels become dangerously
low. This is the main concern of over-hydration.
your electrolytes drop too low too quickly, it can be fatal.
Death by over-hydration is rare, but it can happen.
Are there different types of
This occurs when you
drink more water than yourkidneyscan
remove in your urine. This can cause too much water to
collect in your bloodstream.
occurs when your body can’t get rid of water properly.
Several medical conditions can cause your body to retain
of these types are dangerous because they throw off the
balance between water and sodium in your blood.
What causes over-hydration?
is an imbalance of fluids. It happens when your body takes
in or holds on to more fluid than your kidneys can remove.
too much water or not having a way to remove it can cause
water levels to build up. This dilutes important substances
in your blood. Endurance athletes, such as those who run
marathons and triathlons, sometimes drink too much water
before and during an event.
also important to remember that water needs vary with age,
sex, weather, activity level, and overall health. So there
is no exact formula on how much to drink. Common situations
such as extreme heat, significant activity, and illness with
fever will all require more fluid intake than average.
healthy person, your urine is a good indicator of your
hydration status. Pale yellow urine that looks like lemonade
is a good goal. Darker urine means you need more water.
Colorless urine means you are over-hydrated.
conditions and medicines cause overhydration by making your
body hold on to more fluid. These include:
congestive heart failure (CHF)
syndrome of inappropriate anti-diuretic
conditions and drugs can cause increased water intake by
making you extremely thirsty. These include:
MDMA (commonly known as
Even with a water maker it is important to
conserve water on-board. From the obvious not letting
the tap run whilst brushing teeth or washing hands, to
collecting every drop that comes out of the sky.
Install a sea water tap. so long as you
are in a clean anchorage, or on passage then use this
for washing up, also washing hands etc, to rinse your dishes
fill a spay bottle with water, or just a cup of water to rinse
will normally do.
When in islands where water is an issue
(particularly Cape Verde and the Canary Islands - don't worry
about the Azores they have more than they know what to do
with!), or usually comes from big desalination plants, be
frugal, if in a marina, don't leave your hose running, try not
to wash the boat too often, the locals will appreciate your
efforts to conserve one of their precious resources.
There are many different ways to catch water,
from a simple tarp to plugs for your gunwhale drain
holes. Biminis make excellent water catchers - use an
ordinary hose fitting in the lowest part of your bimini.
When it rains simply attach a hose to it and
fill your tank(s) - yes it really is that simple.
If you have side curtains on your bimini, fold
up the edge to create a gutter, this can be drained directly
into tanks or other recepticles. O course any water collected
in your dinghy is perfect to use for washing or rinsing
clothes. If you are seriously low on water, but not sure
about its cleanliness, or you are out and about, then think
about getting a mini water filter straw.
If you're lucky enough to have one - great, if
not, this is a big investment, but worthwhile if you intend
upon long passages or being at anchor for any length of
There are many different makes, but Spectra
really is the leader in this game. Their Ventura 200T
"...is the same size and
configuration as the Ventura 150, but uses a higher
displacement Clark Pump to produce more water. This allows
it to operate in warm waters above 50F (10C), delivering
over 8 gallons (31 liters) per hour. With it’s modular
design, it’s an ideal system for installation in tight
spaces whether you’re cruising, fishing, or racing. Simple
analog controls and gauges display the feed water pressure
and the product flow meter. A hand-held salinity monitor
and a three-way valve for product water testing are
included." Spectra make many different
models, also hand water makers which are perfect for lefe
rafts and grab bags, click
here for their website. (This is an independent
review of spectra water makers - after 13 years of ownership
and no problems).
A couple of survival methods for making fresh water